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While studying and doing homework isn’t the most fun part of college, it is the most necessary part. Your ability to study directly impacts how well you’ll do in your classes and the future. But, it can be hard to keep your focus when there is always so much going on around you. Here are four productivity tips that will help ensure you make the most out of your time and excel in your studies.


Schedule your time

Creating a to-do list is a great way to visualize all of the tasks you need to complete, but it doesn’t give you any timetable of when you’ll achieve those things or how much time it will take to do each task. To maximize your time, you need to schedule out your day, including what time you’ll take breaks. Determine the approximate time that each task on your list will take you to complete, and then fit those tasks into your day. You can also break your tasks into more manageable pieces; instead of scheduling five hours in one day to work on a paper, break it down into one hour a day throughout the week.


Determine your most productive hours

Everyone has a time block during their day where they find that they’re the most productive and efficient. Try to schedule your most heavy-hitting work during this chunk of time. By tackling your toughest projects when you have the most energy, you leave the rest of your time to work on the smaller projects that don’t require as much of your energy.


Limit time on your cell phone

It’s easy to get distracted by the notifications that continuously light up your cell phone screen. However, it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into texting or social media, and you end up losing an hour of your day. Set limits on the amount of time you spend on your cell phone each day. Download a screen time tracking app, or put your phone into airplane mode while studying and working on homework. This will keep you from repeatedly checking your phone, as no notifications will show up.


Do your work at a desk

In cramped dorm rooms, you usually only have two options for seating: the bed or the desk. It may be tempting to do your work while laying in bed, but it only leads to further distraction. Your mind associates your bed with relaxation and sleep, so trying to be productive while laying in bed often doesn’t work. Instead, do your homework and studying at your desk or in the library. It helps to keep the separation from work and relaxation and makes you much less likely to accidentally take a nap.